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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ind. Law - "Reveal properties’ meth-related past"

An editorial today in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette urges passage of HB 1141, concluding:

[Rep. Wendy ] McNamara’s bill requires that property used for meth production or as a dumping ground for the drug be listed on a website for at least 90 days after it is certified as decontaminated by an approved inspector. Responsibility for the online registry is transferred to the Indiana State Police from the state’s Criminal Justice Institute, which never received funding to create the registry.

The state police already have a database of meth lab seizures, according to First Sgt. Niki Crawford, commander of the agency’s methamphetamine suppression section. State Police will format the information to post online.

“The new disclosure part allows a purchaser to know what they’re getting into,” Crawford said. “It’s simply a public safety tool.”

Current law allows property owners time to decontaminate a residence before an address is listed on a registry. The legislation would require properties be listed immediately and also removes a provision that makes records related to a property’s removal from the registry confidential.

Indiana would join a handful of states that have now passed meth-lab disclosure laws, including Ohio. Once a rural scourge, meth production has moved to cities and suburbs so homebuyers or prospective tenants might not be aware of the risk.

The bill doesn’t address the root of the problem, but it goes a long way in protecting unsuspecting Hoosiers. It passed the House with a 95-0 vote and deserves the same unanimous support in the Senate.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 25, 2014 10:01 AM
Posted to Indiana Law